Baxandall’s idea of “horizons” makes me think about Lucy Suchman’s situated action:

However, a significant part of Baxandall’s account is to do with what the previous chapter explained in terms of ‘horizons’, or ‘life-worlds’. It is about the ways in which the beliefs, hopes, fears and desires of fifteenth-century, affluent, middle-class Italians produced their interpretations of the paintings they saw. For Baxandall, it is also about the ways in which these beliefs, hopes and so on produced the paintings themselves.

This chapter has nothing to do with situated action. It talks about interpretation again. However, since Baxandall’s interpretation about paintings include the concept “horizon”, it looks like a specific example of situated action. How people interpret a particular painting is related with people’s beliefs, hope, fears and desires. Of course, these things vary among people and time, which definitely need situated action.

I went to Guggenheim Museum a few days ago in New York. It was really interesting to see how artists intentionally try not to affect viewers by trying to provide a way for viewers to interpret the art work themselves. One of the art work I saw was only several pieces of yellow clothes hanging together on the wall. The description of this work said that the artist here would like to invite every viewer to create his/her own interpretation and value of the work by providing such a pure form of art, other than seeing viewer struggling to guess what the artist was meaning to say.

This form of art can be seen as a slogan of individual freedom in certain ways. I’m sorry that I didn’t take photos because it was not allowed in Guggenheim.

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